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十来年传播领域行走,快乐多过不开心。历任《中国青年》编辑、执行编辑,《VISION青年视觉》副总编,《DESIGN 设计》主编。

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Dave McClure:我仍在奋斗,与心魔斗争,希望在宇宙留下自己的印记  

2012-07-27 10:04:45|  分类: 那些感动我的人们 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

喜欢500 Starups的创始合伙人Dave McClure最近的博文:Late bloomer,not a loser(I hope)。

他人眼中聪明能干的Dave McClure,对自己的评价是另一种路径,两种叙述里都有部分的真实。

被Dave McClure坦诚的文字和背后的力量打动,一个人无论做到多么有成就,那都是外在的评价,内心中,应该是永远有不满足,有遗憾却又尽力不想在此生留下遗憾的冲动。

大概这也是美利坚充满活力的原因之一,是看上去莽撞年轻的美国人令人不得不敬畏的地方。

古老的中国人,很早以前就言简意赅地说,天行健,君子自强不息。

我们如何能在金刚不坏身里保有年轻的勇敢前进的心呢?

 

博文原文及译文附后:

Late bloomer,not a loser(I hope)

 

Most of the time I think of myself as a failure.

When I’m optimistic, I think maybe I’m just a late bloomer.

I know a lot of folks won’t understand this perspective, but when I was growing up I was always the smartest kid around. it was expected that I would do great things, by my mom, by my teachers, and most importantly, by me. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or bad thing, but high expectations were always around me, and for the first 10-15 years, the results would seem to indicate that was a likely thing.

But after lots of good grades and academic achievement (I skipped 8th grade and another in high school), that kind of stopped happening. I went to college early, and found out that performing well wasn’t always based on being smart. hard work and regular, consistent effort was also required… and I wasn’t really very good at those things. I also had a lot of trouble in college with too many fun things to do… many of which didn’t involve school. I got really good at playing foosball, pool, frisbee, and going to lots of parties and making friends, but I kind of barely made it to graduation. altho I did make dean’s list later in college, I was also on probation a few times, and I spent a lot of time doing “recreational activities” (ahem) which caused a lot of pain and hassle for me, and probably even more for my family. I got through those times, but I started to think about all the things I was supposed to be, and the reality was that I wasn’t quite getting to the goals that had been expected. I didn’t become an astronaut, or an astrophysicist, or a great singer or dancer or pianist, I didn’t end up in politics, I didn’t join the peace corps, I didnt get a Phd or even a masters degree. by my mid-twenties, I headed west to California in search of myself, barely managed to become a decent programmer who bounced around a few jobs, and wasn’t really sure where I was going next.

By my late twenties, I stumbled into running my own consulting firm, which sort of became my first startup. we had a lot of ups and downs, and altho we won a few awards and did some interesting and innovative work, after 5-6 years of trials & tribulations and serious questioning of my own ability as an entrepreneur and leader, I barely escaped bankruptcy multiple times and ended up with only a very small and desperate acquisition that was hardly anything to brag about. I didn’t take the job with Microsoft or Intel in the early 90’s, and I didn’t join Yahoo or Netscape in the late 90’s. i had applied to business school at Stanford, but didn’t get in. I was fortunate to get a job at PayPal in 2001 after the first dot-com blowup, but it wasn’t with any fanfare, and I was struggling to adjust to a new career in marketing, working with people ten years younger than me from Stanford and MIT who seemed to have their shit together a lot more than I did. after 3 years hard work at PayPal, I made some progress, but didn’t get any promotions and mostly got shuffled around working with 3 different bosses who really didn’t know what to do with me. in fact, I felt lucky I didn’t get fired during my time there, and as I walked out the door I was relieved no one had figured out I was a lame duck who didn’t know where the hell I was going.

Don’t get me wrong: PayPal was a great place and I made some wonderful friendships and learned a hell of a lot. my own startup had been a comedy of errs, but i did learn a lot about running a business (mostly what not to do) and learned a lot about myself in the process. I also ran a lot of user groups and events, and realized I was pretty good at marketing, and I really loved technology and the silicon valley culture. but I still felt like an unfocused underachiever, and at 40 hadn’t accomplished much other than finding a good woman foolish enough to marry me, and somehow managed to father two wonderful children I was vastly unqualified to raise. I joined Simply Hired for a few years and did some work I was proud of there, but then continued bouncing around at consulting gigs with oDesk, Mint.com, O'Reilly Media and others where I still felt like I didn’t quite fit in, and wasn’t making the impact I had hoped. at Mint, I was again fortunate to work with some amazing people, but Aaron correctly assessed I wasn’t really the right guy for the job, and I felt lucky to just play a small part in a decent success story (Aaron did let me invest some money in the company, which worked out pretty well for me; thanks Aaron :)

So after twenty years in the valley, I had made only a little bit of money, had some modest accomplishments as a programmer, an entrepreneur, and a marketer. meanwhile my peers at PayPal had gone on to create incredible businesses like LinkedIn, YouTube, Yelp, and Yammer, and other kids half my age were seemingly even more ambitious. most folks thought I was a decent fellow, but over the hill with my best days behind me… and I guess I thought so too. I watched as other friends helped make companies like Google and Facebook and Twitter into juggernauts, but mostly I was on the sidelines, only peripherally involved in their big ideas. but I had started doing some angel investing when I left PayPal in 2004, and after finding Mint.com, SlideShare, & Mashery, I figured maybe I had some talent as an investor… since it seemed like I was only a half-assed entrepreneur.

So after some small notoriety in 2007 teaching a class on Facebook at Stanford (strangely, a school where I wasn’t good enough to get accepted as a student, somehow let me become a visiting lecturer), I decided I’d try to become a venture capitalist. my timing was of course impeccable, and as i was attempting to raise a small fund in summer 2008 the next huge financial crisis hit, and the bottom fell out of the market. again I was fortunate, and my plan B was to humbly say yes to a job offer by Sean Parker to help do some marketing and investing at Founders Fund. I was likely the only person hired in the entire venture industry in Q4 of 2008 (thanks Sean, I owe you one). I threw myself into the job, and after a year and a half had made some decent picks investing in Twilio, SendGrid, Wildfire, and TaskRabbit among others. along the way, I also got the opportunity to run the Facebook fbFund for a short time, and made some friends at Accel and Redpoint and BlueRun. these folks, along with Founders Fund, Mitch Kapor, Michael Birch, Fred Wilson, Brad Feld, Marc Andreessen, and several other generous souls helped me to finally and barely raise a small fund in 2010 that I brazenly named   500 Startups. 

It would have been easy at any point in this journey to rationalize my limited success, and accept being a small cog in a bigger wheel, at likely much better pay and much less stress. but I was still hoping I had a little fire in the belly, and maybe some gas left in the tank to make something more of myself, before I ended up with just a broken spirit and a comfortable life.

And so here I am: still standing in the arena, in hand-to-hand combat with demons mostly of my own making, aiming to make a small dent in the universe. nowhere near a great success story, yet fighting the good fight and perhaps helping others to achieve greatness as I attempt a bit of my own. I’ll be 46 in a month, well past the age when most folks have already shown what they’re made of. but I’m still grasping for that brass ring.

I don’t mean to whine or bemoan my lot in life – I’ve been far more than lucky, and I’ve had a great time on this planet. I have nothing to complain about, nor will it be the end of the world if all I get to do in the next 30-40 years is to breathe in the air. all things said, it’s been a wonderful life.

But I’m not giving up yet.

I’m still betting my epitaph will read “late bloomer”, and not “failure”.

Wish me luck :)

 

大多数时间我觉得自己就是个失败者。心态乐观的时候,我想自己或许只是大器晚成。

我知道很多人不太理解这番话。孩童时期,我总是周围最聪明的。母亲、老师,甚至我本人,都期望自己能成就伟大事业。我不知道这是好事还是坏事,但高期望始终伴随着我;从最初15-20年的情况来看,似乎我确实有望有一番成就。

我的学习开始还不错,中学跳了两级,但之后情况发生了变化。我早早上了大学,却发现大学并不是只聪明就能玩转的,还需要刻苦努力与毅力恒心,而我在这方面确实不怎样。我在大学里玩心太重了,这对学业没有什么帮助。我玩桌上足球、撞球、飞盘都很擅长,也喜欢参加聚会结交朋友。但我差点毕不了业,期间还有几次留校查看的不光彩经历。

我浪费时间吃喝玩乐,回想起来不仅让自己痛心,可能也让家人失望。经历过这段时期,我开始反思自己,发现自己根本没有按照之前的期望前行。我没有成为宇航员、天体物理学奖、伟大歌手、舞蹈家或是钢琴家。我没有拿到博士学位,甚至硕士学位都没有。在我25-6岁的时候,我来到西海岸的加州,努力成为一个还不错的程序员,换过几次工作,却仍不清楚自己的未来之处怎么走。

快奔三的时候,我开了自己的咨询公司,这算是我首次创业。经过了诸多波折,我们也取得了一些成绩,做了一些有趣的创新项目。经过5-6年的坎坷起伏,公司数次挣扎在破产边缘,公司最终以极小的金额被收购,实在没什么可自吹的;我也认真质疑过自己作为创业者和领导者的才能。

我没在上世纪90年代初加入微软或英特尔,也没在90年代末效力雅虎或网景。我曾申请过斯坦福商学院,但却遭到拒绝。2001年首次网络股泡沫破灭的时候,我很幸运得到了PayPal的一份工作,但这没什么可夸耀的,我努力转型从事营销工作,和一些比我小10岁的斯坦福与麻省理工毕业生共事,而他们看起来都比我牛得多。

在PayPal努力工作了三年后,我取得了一些进展,但也没得到晋升,大部分时间都在应对我那三位不同的上级,他们都不知道该拿我怎么办。实际上,我觉得自己当时没被炒鱿鱼还真挺走运的;当我离开的时候,我感到一种解脱:虽然大家都不清楚我要去哪儿,但没人发现我在拖大家后腿。

别误会:PayPal是个很棒的地方,我认识了一些出色的朋友,也学到了很多。我之前的创业公司犯了不少错误,但我也确实在其中学到了不少运营公司的知识(大部分是不该做什么),也对自己有了很多了解。我还操办了一些用户组织和活动,发现自己在营销方面干得相当不错,我也深爱科技与硅谷文化。可是我仍然觉得自己没什么成就,也没有重点。

一晃自己40岁了,除了找到一个傻到愿意嫁给我的女人还有了两个可爱的孩子,我真没取得什么成就。我在求职搜索公司 Simply Hired干了几年,做了些自己也值得自豪的事情;然后又辗转 oDesk、Mint.com和O'Reilly Media等其他公司,觉得自己并没找到适合的位置,没达到自己之前的期望。在个人金融网站Mint的时候,我很幸运认识了一些出色的人。Mint创始人Aaron觉得我不适合那个工作,但他的判断是对的。(我得谢谢他让我投资了Mint,后来给我带来了不错回报。)

在硅谷混了20年,我也挣了一些钱,在程序员、创业者、营销人员等角色方面小有成就。但当年我在PayPal的同事们却创办了LinkedIn、Youtube、Yelp和Yammer等了不起的公司,一些年纪只有我一半的小孩们甚至更加成就斐然。大部分人都觉得我还不错,但却已经走下坡路了。我想自己当时也这么觉得的。很多朋友推动着谷歌、Facebook和Twitter走到现在的地位,而我却基本在错失机会,只是偶尔参与其中。2004年我离开PayPal后开始从事一些天使投资,在发现Mint、SlideShare和Mashery等投资良机后,我觉得自己虽然在创业方面不怎样,但在投资领域还是有点天赋的。

2007年在斯坦福讲了关于Facebook的课后 (很奇怪,虽然斯坦福当年没录取我,后来却邀请我去讲课),我决定从事风险投资。但2008年夏天我打算成立一个小基金的时候,却遇到了金融风暴,市场触底。我又一次走运,接受了肖恩·帕克(Sean Parker,Facebook前总裁)的邀请,在Founders Fund做营销工作,还投资了这个基金。我可能是2008年第四季度整个风投行业招聘的唯一一个人。真的很感谢帕克。我全身心投入了这个工作,一年半之后小有所成,投资了 Twilio、SendGrid、Wildfire和TaskRabbit等一些公司。此外,我还有幸短暂运营了Facebook的fdFund基金,认识了Accel、Redpoint和BlueRun的一些同行朋友。得益于他们,还有Founders Fund、米奇·卡普(Mitch Kapor)、马克·安德森(Marc Andreessen)等其他慷慨解囊的好友,我最终在2010年创办了一个小型基金,命名为500 Startups。

这一路走来,我本可以满足小小成就,轻松做个小角色,或许薪酬还会更高,压力也更小。但我希望自己心中依然有梦想,还有激情做出一番事情,而非就此停步享受生活。

这就是我现在的情况:我仍在奋斗,与自己的心魔斗争,希望在宇宙留下自己的印记。即便我不会有伟大成功,但也在为信念打拼,或许帮助他人成就伟大事业。我下个月就46岁了,很多人到了这个年纪已经证明了自己,但我却还在努力的道路上。

我不想感慨或是遗憾逝去时光——自己已经非常幸运,也拥有美好时光。我没什么可抱怨的,即便未来30-40年都无所事事也同样如此。我的人生真的很好了。

但我还没有放弃奋斗。我依然期望自己的墓志铭是“大器晚成者”,而非“失败者”。

祝我好运吧:)

 

说明:英文博文原文链接:http://500hats.com/late-bloomer/

译文选用新浪科技的版本,链接如下:http://tech.sina.com.cn/i/2012-07-14/08487387637.shtml

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